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Psychoanalysis and Macbeth
Transcript of Psychoanalysis and Macbeth
Let's start off
with an easy one.
So let's review!
Can Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic theory of tropes be applied to Macbeth?
Yes! Freud himself used his
psychoanalytic theory (including his
tropes id, ego, & superego) to
analyze many of Shakespeare's
work. His favorites being
Ready For the
Which character corresponds to each trope?
Macbeth as the Id
Lady Macbeth as the Superego
Macduff as the Ego
Guess What It's Time for? Question Three!!!
Why does Macbeth embody the id?
While Macbeth shows glimpses as each of the three tropes, he is most recognizable as the id through out the play. This can be seen by his overly aggressive actions paired with his lack of rational thinking.
The scene that best shows this is when Macbeth returns to the witches seeking answers to questions that deal with how he can remain in power and what forces may remove him from that power.
Why does Lady Macbeth embody
Lady Macbeth plays the critical moralizing role. She is filled with guilt after her involvement with Duncan's murder. This is the emergence of the sugerego trying to correct and balance the desires of the id.
Her guilt leads her to commit suicide. This is the ultimate form of the superego achieving balance in the psyche.
Macduff embodies the Ego as he is the balance and civil counterpart to the others. He maintains sanity and acts as one should. With a balance of desires, morality, and logic, Macduff succeeds in outliving the other two parts of the psyche and restoring peace.
How does Macduff embody the ego?
How does the quote represent the id: “I conjure you, by that which you profess, Howe'er you come to know it, answer me: . . . Even till destruction sicken; answer me
To what I ask you.” (4.1.50-51, 62-63)
The quote shows Macbeth unruly
desire to both obtain and solidify his power.
How does this quote represent the superego, “He could not miss ‘em. Had he not resembled My father as he slept. I had done ‘t” (2.2.13).
This quote shows how Lady Macbeth's conscience and morals are brought up after being reminded by her father.
Name one instance in
where Lady Macbeth's superego affect her actions.
Answers may vary but the best example would be when she does not kill Duncan herself after she looks at him, reminding her of her father.
When does Macbeth's id first begin to take control of him?
When the he hears the witches prophecy, with it going into full swing after the murder of Banquo.
How might Banquo be similar to Macduff when analyzed trough the tropes?
Here it is!
His ego rationalizes his id's desires after hearing the witches' prophecy.
How does the superego act in relation to the other two tropes?
The superego acts as an evaluator for the decisions made by the id and ego.